Challenges. How high do you aim?
As I write these words, I am preparing for a trip to Ballarat, a gorgeous town north of Melbourne for my personal writing retreat. The purpose of my 'going-away' is to prepare my application for a writing workshop in Boston. The chances of getting in are miniscule but the voice inside would not shut up until I give it my best try, and so I will.
How high do I am? When you come from nothing, like I do, there is nothing to lose and so much to gain. I became who I am by challenging myself, so much so that the unknown has become my comfort zone. I set up camp by the edge of the cliff and I love the view. What's not to like? Join me by the fire and tell me, do you challenge yourself and how does your writing reflect that?
At the moment, I am currently working on a short story for a punk anthology and I surprised myself. I was inmersed in the two boys, my characters and their attraction to each other when I wrote two very intense sexual scenes in one go. My instinct told me where the story was going and I followed. It was cathartic.
I haven't got anybody to read my story yet but what's the worst that can happen? We reflect our insecurities in our stories, submiting so much more than a story, but a raw piece of ourselves. Rejection is brutal and can also be liberating. It allows us to stop taking ourselves so seriously, to play, to have fun, to experiment, and sometimes along the way we may surprise ourselves and learn something new.
The passage below is from 'The Unbereable Lightness of Being' by Milan Kundera and defines the place where I go for guidance, the cliff where you will find me staring into the emptiness.
'Anyone whose goal is 'something higher' must expect someday to suffer vertigo. What is vertigo? Fear of falling? No. Vertigo is something other than the fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts us and lures us. It is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves.'